Well, why wouldn’t you want to take your best friend on holiday with you? As time has gone on there has been a growing demand for pet-friendly holiday accommodation options, and in this guide we’ll be telling you everything you need to know about one of the leisure industry’s true growth areas of recent years.
Benefits of Dog-Friendly Caravan & Holiday Park Holidays
Taking a caravan holiday with a dog isn’t a decision that solely has to be taken for practical reasons. The increased physical activity of long walks with your companion will be good for your physical health, while the reduced stress and bonding experience will be beneficial to your mental health. And in addition to all this, you’ll be spared the worry of wondering how they’re getting on in kennels or with a dog-sitter.
Considerations When Choosing Dog-Friendly Caravan & Holiday Parks
Of course, there are important factors to consider when selecting a dog-friendly caravan park. The location is important, and you may wish to pay attention to the park’s proximity to local attractions, while the quality and variety of facilities and on-site amenities may also help to determine your final decision.
As a responsible dog-owner, you will have specific concerns. What safety measures do they have in place? Do they have designated dog areas? And most importantly–at least from the perspective of your dog–what are the nearby walking routes like? It’s always best to do your research before you book rather than guessing blindly and keeping your fingers that you haven’t, for the want of a better phrase, been sold a pup.
Top Dog-Friendly Caravan Parks in the UK
Here’s a small selection of dog-friendly caravan parks from around the UK.
Hafan y Môr Holiday Park, North Wales
Situated between Pwlleli and Porthmadog, just a short drive from Snowdonia and adjacent to a dog-friendly beach, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park is perfectly located for those who want to combine the modern amenities of a dog-friendly caravan park with long walks in the mountains. Hafan y Môr is one of four Haven holiday parks to feature a ‘Bark Yard’, a purpose-built obstacle course for dogs, while for their human companions there’s an indoor splash park, an adventure village, and nine different places to eat.
Warmwell Holiday Park, Dorset
Warmwell is owned by Parkdean Resorts, all of whose 66 outlets allow dogs, but seven of these also feature ‘Woof Parks”, another obstacle course to keep your dog entertained while you’re on holiday.
Lodge accommodation rather than caravans offers a little more space, but this does make it a touch more expensive than some other parks. But there’s an indoor swimming pool (with a wave machine), fishing lakes, dinosaur themed mini-golf, a climbing wall, hoverboards, bungee trampolines, crafts and a roller rink for the humans, and it’s location, near Weymouth but also within easy driving distance of Poole and Bournemouth and near the Dorset coast, makes it ideal for days out.
Marton Mere Holiday Park, Blackpool
Of course, the problem with many more ‘traditional’ seaside resorts is that they are the places most likely to have severe restrictions for dogs on beaches, and Blackpool is no exception to that rule. There are a couple of smaller beaches which allow them on leads, but if you’re hoping to exercise them on the larger beaches you’ll be disappointed.
But that’s not to say that you can’t enjoy a holiday in the area with your dog, and Marton Mere is a well-appointed park packed with amenities for families, including both an indoor swimming pool and an outdoor ‘splash zone’, kids clubs, a bar and restaurant, playgrounds, adventure golf, sports courts and entertainment in the evening for the adults. The centre of Blackpool is a 15 minute drive away, and the Fylde coast offers excellent walking options.
Nodes Point Holiday Park, Isle of Wight
Nodes Point features many of the amenities that we might to expect from a holiday park, with an indoor swimming pool, a bar and restaurant, and horse riding along the beach, but it wins extra points for being a park that is within reach of two different beaches, both of which allow dogs. The relaxed pace of life on the Isle of Wight makes it a perfect destination to get away from it all, take in some sea air and take your pup for a long walk.
California Cliffs, Norfolk
If the Isle of Wight is perfect for getting away from it all, then California Cliffs in Norfolk is a busy park which is suitable for families looking to keep themselves occupied, with There’s an indoor swimming pool, a sports court, outdoor swimming pool, crazy golf and an adventure playground. Should you fancy taking Rover for a day out, the holiday resort of Great Yarmouth is just a short distance away, and Norfolk has no shortage of dog-friendly beaches.
Tips for a Successful Dog-Friendly Caravan Holiday
There are two key elements to enjoying a successful dog-friendly caravan ownership: preparation and responsible ownership. Make sure you take all the essentials with you. You’ll need to take enough food for them, bedding with which they are familia, food and drink bowls, poo bags, toys, towels and a first aid kit. Ensure he’s fully up to date with his vaccines.
But just having the kit isn’t enough, unless you back it up by being a responsible and considerate dog owner while you’re away. Make sure that your dog has a collar and badge with your contact details on them, and take a long lead, so that they can have a little more freedom should you get out into the countryside. Don’t take them on beaches where dogs are banned, clean up after them and investigate any noise they start to make, as soon as they start to make it. Always ensure they have plenty of toys to keep them entertained.
Can I leave my dog unattended at a caravan park?
As with cars, dogs should never be left unattended in a caravan or motorhome for extended periods of time, particularly when the weather is hot. DIfferent parks may have different rules, but be aware that you will be held liable should they damage any property through boredom.
Are there dog-walking areas within caravan parks?
This will vary from site to site across the UK, but your best bet for dog-walking in general is to find somewhere near countryside where off-lead walking is allowed. Caravan parks vary greatly in size and amenities, but most will have substantial details on their websites and will be happy to answer queries by phone, too.
Are there any additional charges for bringing a dog to a caravan park?
Some do, some don’t. Where a charge is made, it’s usually between £25 and £55 per week per pet. Ordinarily you might expect a facility charging to have some sort of dog-friendly facilities, such as an obstacle course for them to use.
Are there any specific rules for dogs at caravan parks?
Each different park will have its own specific rules and you are strongly advised to read them carefully before booking, as you could get evicted from a park for breaking them, which would not only ruin everybody’s holiday, but would also make it just about impossible for you to have any chance of getting a refund. Of course, many of these restrictions will not apply to guide dogs and other assistance animals.
Are there any restrictions on dog sizes at dog-friendly caravan parks?
Most parks have a limit on the number of dogs you can take with you–ordinarily between one and four–but again, the rules vary from site to site. Some may also restrict certain breeds based on size, and visitors from outside the UK that some breeds will not be allowed into the country in the first place.
How do I find dog-friendly attractions near caravan parks?
The best way to find dog-friendly attractions is to check out our comprehensive city guides! We have them for a range of British cities, including both Brighton and Hove, Bath, Newcastle, Leeds, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Oxford, Norwich, Exeter, Dundee, Chester, Manchester, York, Liverpool, Cardiff, Cambridge, Nottingham, Bristol, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Are there any recommended dog-friendly walks or trails near caravan parks?
The best way to find dog-friendly walks or trails near caravan parks is to check out our resort guides! We have them for a range of different parts of Britain, including both the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, Norfolk, the Lake District, Dorset, the Isle of Wight, both North & South Wales, Devon and Cornwall.
Want to know more about how to choose a dog friendly caravan?
Check out our guide to dog friendly caravan holidays.